Outermost in the fjord lies the narrow 7.5 km long spit, Albuen. It seperates Langelandsbæltet from Nakskov Fjord, and acts as a breakwater for birds, fish and people. The spit is very low, consisting of sand and stones carried here by the sea through several thousand years.
Albuen is a very special area with scenic nature and a cultural environment that bears witness to 600 years of human activity in this isolated place.
Sea lagoons and the low salt marsh ridges testify to Albuen’s geological formation.
Only a few trees and shrubs grow here to provide shelter, so it may be a somewhat harsh experience to visit the place when it blows, but the light reflecting from the shallow fjord and the deep strait always offers something special.
There are many birds, and in May-June may be heard on warm and quiet evenings, or sometimes during the day, a strong chorus of the rare natterjack toads. Ronnie Bille has been kind enough to supply several recordings of toads and frogs calling. You can listen to his recording of Albuen’s Natterjack chorus by clicking on the thumbnail at the right.
Albuen is especially beautiful when the sea pink, the yellow bedstraw or the white yarrow blossom. Then large areas are respectively coloured in pink, yellow or white. Sea pink blooms from mid to late May. In the first half of July the yellow bedstraw can be seen and scented, and if the summer has been wet, yarrow can be seen flowering in August.
Low ridges and depressions in the ground testify to the ’herring era’ in the middle of the Middle Ages, where people from all over Europe came to Albuen to barter and buy salt herring.
Large and small houses built in the last 100 years come from a time when many people moved to Albuen. Here fishermens’ houses, ship Pilot’s house, light house, school and coastguard look-out tower can be seen. In the first half of the last century there was a mass of activity on Albuen.
Fishermen caught many of fish helped by fisherwomen who put worms on hooks and looked after children, clothing, food and housing. Ship pilots had busy days to make sure that ships safely navigated along the winding waterway channel back and forth to Nakskov.
The children went to the little Albue school where the teacher taught them how to write beautifully and add numbers.
Fishermen and pilots manned the lighthouse, had additional jobs as guards at the coastal look-out and recorded the passing ships and the first lark of the year in the protocol. When it stormed and ships ran aground, the Albue Rescue Guild launched boats to rescue the crew, ship and cargo.
The Albue has earned its own brochure, available at the tourist office or out in the ’brochure boxes’ at the Coastal Lookout or at the bridge at the end of Albuen Harbour. The nature guide too has an endless fund of stories.
It is possible to walk to Albuen along the narrow spit - it is 6 km to the lighthouse. It is a fairly strenous walk, so most elect to sail with one of the tour boats, or to sail out and walk home. Regardless of which route is chosen, it is always a strange experience to walk to Albuen because the land is so low that from a distance it looks as though the small houses are floating on the water.
The central part of Albuen is owned by the state. The rest is privately owned. On the state’s area there are tables, benches and grill places. A toilet, without water as there are no fresh water wells on Albuen, is situated next to the lighthouse. The Coastguard look-out tower is always worth a visit. It is open all year round so a picnic can be eaten indoors while enjoying the magnificent views.
The large white Pilot’s house is also owned by the State, but is used by the Friends of the Pilot’s house as a combination of museum and nature centre whith opportunties for overnight accomodation and longer stays in this beautiful place. Everyone is welcome if it is open, otherwise please show consideration if there are people in the house.
There are no rubbish bins on Albuen as the refuse collectors find it a bit difficult to get there.